The United Methodist Church Service of Marriage is a joyous celebration of worship!
Ridgewood has a beautiful sanctuary ideally suited for weddings. Beautiful stained-glass windows decorate both sides of the sanctuary, and another large stained-glass window is situated over the balcony. The wide center aisle is 75 feet long and provides enough space for a proper procession of the bride and bridal party down the aisle. The sanctuary seats 325 people (17 rows of pews on each side) and features a balcony in the back which provides an ideal vantage point for photography during the processional and recessional. As a rule, no flash photography is permitted during the actual ceremony, but as long as it is inconspicuous, the photographer can take pictures during the ceremony as well. All wedding contracts include a forty-five minute period for photographs following the wedding ceremony.
In addition, we have a beautiful chapel which would be the ideal setting for a smaller wedding ceremony with 40 guests or less. Recently renovated, it forms the perfect setting to provide for an intimate wedding when there are only a few guests attending.
Weddings can be a stressful event for some people, but it really shouldn’t be. Our office staff takes care of all the reservations for your wedding day (both the rehearsal and the actual Service of Marriage). To schedule a wedding at Ridgewood, you should consult the church office as soon as possible concerning the availability of the date, time, and (of course) the pastor.
Guidelines for Planning a Wedding at Ridgewood UMC
In order to assist you in planning your wedding, we provide the following guidelines:
Booking Your Wedding
Please call the church office at (440) 885-1360 regarding the availability of the date, time and pastor for your wedding. This should be done as early as possible, even before you book your reception hall. You can reserve either the sanctuary or the chapel (depending on the size of the wedding) through the church office. Reservations include both the marriage service, as well as the rehearsal.
Scheduled church functions take priority over wedding dates and times. If you request another pastor to be part of the service, he/she will participate as a guest pastor and will assist the Ridgewood pastor. If more than one wedding is scheduled for the same day, there will be a minimum of three hours between services with a limit of two weddings per day.
All couples to be married shall participate in pre-marital classes with the pastor. An appointment should be made for the first class as soon as possible, or at least six months before the wedding date. Subsequent sessions will be scheduled after the first session, with a minimum of three sessions required.
The Marriage Service
During a pre-marital counseling session your marriage service will be discussed. Any changes to the order of the service will be by agreement between the pastor and the couple. Additional acts of worship will also be decided at this time, such as the singing of hymns, scripture or other readings, and/or the serving of Holy Communion. Music selections must be consistent with a service of worship and “church appropriate”, as determined by the pastor.
The beauty of simplicity is recommended – you know, Less is More. If you have a florist, you can arrange plans for floral arrangements, candles, aisle cloth, etc. through them. To help you in planning your decorations, it will be helpful to know that the sanctuary is not air conditioned, the aisle is 75 feet long, and the sanctuary will seat 325 people. The church supplies six large altar candles. A candelabrum is extra.
Pictures may be taken during the processional and the recessional, and (as long as it is inconspicuous) during the service of marriage. NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY is permitted during the actual wedding ceremony to preserve the sanctity of the moment.
All wedding contracts include a forty-five minute period following the ceremony for photography. If your photographer goes over this 45-minute period, there will be a fee of $25.00 for every 15 minutes over the 45-minute time limit. A bill will be sent by mail.
Organist & Music:
It is your responsibility to contact our church Music Director regarding the scheduling of the organ music as soon as the wedding is booked. We welcome your ideas in the selection of the prelude, processional and recessional music as determined by the organist. We will be happy to offer suggestions upon request. We will also be glad to work with the soloist or instrumentalist of your choice. For special and/or additional music that needs extra rehearsals, there will be an additional fee charged.
The church wedding director will be present during both the rehearsal and the actual wedding. She/He will assist the members of the bridal party in various aspects.
The bridal party dressing room is the Church Living Room on the second floor (located adjacent to the sanctuary). It is accessed through the first room on the right on the parking lot side of the building (Room 216). The groomsmen dressing room is the Nurse’s office located on the second floor on the opposite side of the building from the Living Room. Our custodian will assist members of the bridal party in finding their way around.
Ushers should be on duty at least 30 minutes before the stated time of the wedding. All members of the wedding party should be in the church building at least 30 minutes prior to the ceremony to ensure that everything takes place on time.
If you have special requests or other deviations from these guidelines, they may be permitted on a case-by-case basis as determined by the pastor, so feel free to voice them when you meet.
Music for Your Christian Marriage Ceremony
It is our practice at Ridgewood United Methodist Church that our Director of Music plays for all weddings. You may invite another organist to play at your wedding, but substitute organists must first be approved. The flat fee does not change if you include a guest musician, organist and/or pianist, and a separate honorarium to the guest musician is the responsibility of the wedding couple. Please contact us two months before your wedding date to schedule a consultation regarding all your wedding music. Consultations usually take between 30 and 45 minutes.
If you are making use of a vocal soloist or instrumentalist it is up to that person to contact our Music Director directly to arrange rehearsal times. Please note that the organist’s fee covers a brief rehearsal the day of the wedding. For special or additional music needing extra rehearsals, there will be an additional fee charged. This can be discussed at the time you meet to choose your music.